The stunning conclusion to the smash New York Times best-selling series the Wicked Years
Gregory Maguire's Wicked Years series became national best sellers and the basis for a hit Tony-winning Broadway musical. Now, Maguire returns with the final installment in his transformative work, a thrilling and compulsively readable saga in which the fate of Oz is decided at last.
Once peaceful and prosperous, the spectacular Land of Oz is knotted with social unrest: The Emerald City is mounting an invasion of Munchkinland, Glinda is under house arrest, and the Cowardly Lion is on the run from the law. And look who's knocking at the door. Its none other than Dorothy. Yes. That Dorothy.
Yet amid all this chaos, Elphabas granddaughter, the tiny green baby born at the close of Son of a Witch, has come of age. Now it is up to Rain to take up her broom - and her legacy - in an Oz wracked by war.
The stirring, long-awaited conclusion to the best-selling series that began with Wicked, Out of Oz is a magical journey rife with revelations and reversals, reprisals and surprises - the hallmarks of the unique imagination of Gregory Maguire.
©2011 Gregory Maguire (P)2011 HarperCollinsPublishers
I've waited a long time for this - and it was only over too fast! There is some serious tying up of loose ends, some SHOCKS that had me in TEARS, and I must say, it's time now to listen to the whole series, because I'm sure I missed stuff. But Brrr is back, as lovable and neurotic as ever, we find out what happens to all of Elphaba's progeny (like that green baby!), and meet so many of the characters from the previous 3 novels. I can't say much more without giving stuff away, but if you've loved the first 3, you will love this! I sure did!
"A truly good book teaches me better than to read it. I must soon layout down, and commence living on its hint. what I began by reading, I must finish by acting" -Henry David Thoreau
Twisted Mind F&$@!
When the blind-fold was lifted from Liir and Candle's eyes and they could see what
I have only heard Mr. McDonough read Wicked and A Lion Among Men and I truly enjoyed his interpretation. I especially love his Brrr and his Granny was a hoot!
Out of Oz...Ruby slippers no required
Recommend a book in the Wicked series? HAHAHAHA.
But why, you might be asking. Didn't I rate the book highly? Didn't I sit through every single one of the Wicked Years, gleefully bouncing up and down in my seat and clapping my hands like a three year old on a sugar rush? Why on earth would I forsake a recommendation on a series that has brought so much joy, so much food for thought, so much lasting pleasure into my life? Well, mostly for the same reason that I would never recommend full body tattoos or natto sushi. Namely, they're a commitment and a unique taste. And those types of books are ones that are rarely shareable. This is a huge monster of a book that requires more than just simple audience participation - it demands that you get on stage and join it in it's antics, and it screams for you to throw a few punches of your own into the mix as well.
Needless to say that if you got this far, if you read/listened to the other books in the series and actually LIKED them, as opposed to grudgingly reading them (which oddly enough, I think a fair number of this series do) , I think it's safe to say that you'll have a similar experience with this one. In a lot of ways I think that Out of Oz is a lot more similar to Wicked than most of its predecessors were.
I suppose I really can't add any more bits of wisdom other than that. The one good thing about Maguire's books is that if you read one you'll pretty much be able to gauge where you stand with all the others. Read Wicked and had mixed feelings? Well replace Wicked with Out of Oz and there's your magic answer. I don't think this is a book that someone should have to squander a credit on in the hopes that "this might be the one". If you haven't liked the series up until now, cut your losses and be done with it. If you do like these books then, yes, I wholeheartedly recommend it to you.
There is no one character - everything he narrates for this series in magical. As always I'm just floored at how wonderful John McDonough is. For me he is THE voice of the Wicked Years. I can't count the number of times I tried to read Wicked on my own way back in the day and failed for any number of reasons. But hearing these books read in his voice brought life into the characters and brought out subtleties in the plot that I never would have been able to construct on my own. Needless to say that while this book would have been fine in its own right, McDonough makes it a pure tour de force. So, that you John for making the commitment to this series.
For one thing the book in print or in audio is HUGE.
Second, Maguire's prose is so steeped in lyricism, in witticisms and allusions that I think it would be a disservice to plow through it without taking some breaks in between to let it all sink in and ponder what it is he's trying to convey to the reader. Plus there is so. damn. much. emotional hardship in this book. Maguire is an author that really likes to put his characters through the wringer, and here, more than any other book in the series, it shows. In fact, I would probably go so far as to say that the central focus in Out of Oz is the concept of the Happily Ever After - that the only After's that really last are the ones that we continually watch over and mend on our own.
Two of my favorite lines/passages :
“She wasn't afraid of doing good or of resisting evil. She was merely afraid she might not be able to tell the difference.”
“Maybe that's what growing up means, in the end - you go far enough in the direction of - somewhere - and you realize that you've neutered the capacity of the term home to mean anything. [...] We don't get an endless number of orbits away from the place where meaning first arises, that treasure-house of first experiences. What we learn, instead, is that our adventures secure us in our isolation. Experience revokes our licence to return to simpler times. Sooner or later, there's no place remotely like home.”
This is the first book in the out of oz series which I got on audio book. Reading the earlier books, I was not very engaged in the stories. I would find myself stopping and starting the books over and over until I finally finished them. I became very engaged in this book in a way I did not with the others. I think its due to the audio performance. I might just pick up the other books in audio.
Say something about yourself!
I love Maguire, but I really wish he had been the reader on this book, like he was for book two.
I was greatly looking forward to the last of the Wicked series, and the promise of loose ends being tied up. Yes, many loose ends find closure, but the ending left me a bit.... unfulfilled. No spoliers here. However the ending and some of the events leading up to it just felt empty. Book one, the ending being a bit ambiguous I felt added to the story. Book two felt the same. Book Three had the promise of more to come. However with book four stumbling back into an open ending, it was just frustrating. I do have a suspicion that if Maguire had been the narrartor as he had been on book two, perhaps there might have been a bit less... empty. Of course though that's speculation. Still a good read. However I'll be honest that I am disappointed.
I feel that it's a fitting end to the Wicked Years. It wraps things up nicely, and the author answers some questions that seem to arise. Gregory adds some pretty wicked humor at the right times to give a good chuckle. Like wise, if you've fallen in love with any of the characters you'll experience tragedy as well. Most of all I love how the author re-wrote the world of Oz so that you find out that the Wizard of Oz may not have been everything youve known it to be.
Oh, there's so much. I guess, how attracted I got to some of the characters, and how much I detested some others.
Grandma Beaver was pretty great.
I agree with many of the other listeners who have listened to Out Of Ozz and the earlier books. These books aren't for everyone. At times Gregory seems to just ramble on and you begin to wonder what he's getting at. There's a few things I would like to point out with The Wicked Years. To start with, this is not a series for your young daughter. If you watched the musical and then decided to read the book, Wicked, be aware that this series was written with a mature audience in mind.
This is a very introspective series. As you listen ( or read) you can somewhat see the author's own philosophies and questions that he's writing into his book. You can take it at face value of whats going on in the story or you can also follow his thought trains. He tends to derail sometimes and play around with some ideas. I think this is why many may not appreciate it. It's also not a book/ or series for people who think that every story needs to end on a positive note. As I said its introspective and I feel the author writes his own thoughts on life into the series.
I write, I read, I cook, I watch movies...I'm a big kid.
Not the ending I was expecting, but that's good. I like being kept on my toes. Nothing is what you'd expect in the land of OZ and following the lineage of the Wicked Witch has left me wonderstruck. I know it's over, but I want more.
An old broad that enjoys books of all types. Would rather read than write reviews though. I know what I like, and won't be bothered by crap.
War Rain Peace
The bringing together of all the characters from the four books for a satisfying conclusion.
Bringing Liir back from the dead.
Would have loved to, but too long to do it! However, I did stay up quite late on the last night. Had to see how it ended!
The author wants his readers to draw their own conclusions, like always. At first I was unsure of the ending, but thinking it over now I love it. (The last sentence in the book is eerily similar to the first sentence in Wicked).
Readers should look for sly references to the musical, Judy Garland, The Wiz and of course the previous books. There are also some fun asides to Gone With The Wind which was also produced in 1939.
This final story of the series is more like the first in that the story moves right along. It also has more ties to the story we know from the Wizard of Oz movie. If you read the first three, then don't skip this one.
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